Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Please spare some thoughts and prayers for them...

Found in the Dallas Morning News, written by columnist Steve Blow.

Even at Christmas, duty calls for departing service members
08:23 PM CST on Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We've all seen the daily celebration at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to welcome soldiers returning home on leave.

But each day, another quieter, more somber sort of ritual also occurs at the airport as service members board an airplane carrying them back to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, every day. Even at Christmas.

"Christmas Day, just like any other day, 365 days a year," said U.S. Army Maj. Patrick McAfee,
who oversees military personnel movement at the airport.

So today, let's a pause a moment from our holiday festivities to remember those whose duty means leaving home at Christmas.

I really didn't need to ask Pvt. Johnny Cummings his feelings about being among those headed back on Tuesday. The forlorn look on his face said it all.

Pvt. Cummings, 19, is from Valley Mills, north of Denton. He waited on an airport bench with his father and grandfather beside him on the right and his arm draped around a pretty young lady on his left.

"It's really kind of sad," he said, "especially just being married."

Yes, he and the new Mrs. Kimberly Cummings decided on the spur of the moment to marry Dec. 15 while he was home on his 15-day leave.

A trip back to Iraq is definitely no honeymoon. And he won't be home again until October.

Parting this week was also tough for Pfc. Lorenzo Zesati. He found a quiet corner of the airport's
USO for a long, quiet phone talk with his wife, Michelle, back in El Paso.

Other service members killing time at the USO laughed at a standup comic on the big-screen TV. But Pfc. Zesati's thoughts were still of home, where his wife gave birth to their son one week ago.

"He's a big boy – eight pounds, five ounces," Pfc. Zesati said proudly. It will be August before he holds his son again.

The departing troops muster at noon each day in Terminal B. D/FW is the departure point for all service members west of the Mississippi, so most of them say their goodbyes to family at home airports.

But those living in the area bring family along for the farewell. Heather Tracy sat calmly beside her husband, Capt. Bob Tracy. They had driven up from Harker Heights in Central Texas.
Capt. Tracy is now serving in Afghanistan. A previous tour in Iraq was cut short by combat injuries to his right arm. "I had seven surgeries and they fixed me up, so here I go again," he said, sounding upbeat.

Ms. Tracy was more subdued but resolute. "This is what he wants to do, and I'm proud of him. So this is what I do," she said.

That businesslike approach seems to be the hallmark of these departures. Airport chaplains roam among the troops waiting to depart. Rarely do they encounter someone overcome by fear.
But that doesn't mean they don't hear some heartbreaking things. Chaplain Les Grounds said: "I had one man to pull at my coattails and say, 'Can we talk? My wife served me with divorce papers while I was home.' "

Sgt. Greg Thomas of Rialto, Calif., took a few moments to pray before the charter jet took off on Tuesday from D/FW International Airport. He and hundreds of other soldiers are returning to their units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Others are just exhausted. "Some are on their third and fourth tours," said Chaplain D.D. Hayes. "These guys are tired. Their families are tired."

And yet they go, even at Christmastime.

Boarding began at 2:45 p.m. As always, those with family present were allowed to board last.

USO volunteer Joan Wright said: "That's the hard part – watching the families tell them goodbye. I tear up just talking about it."

Indeed, those long farewell hugs – a mix of love and fear – were wrenching to see. The soldiers put on strong faces and turned toward the departure door. Wives and mothers wiped back tears rolling down their cheeks.

As on every flight, a chaplain boarded the plane for a final parting prayer. "Our Heavenly Father, we want to say thank you for every one of these ladies and gentlemen that have committed their service to our country," Chaplain Grounds began.

With the prayer said, the jetway pulled back and the airplane door closed. At 3:15 p.m., the plane pushed back from the gate. Standing in the jetway, Maj. McAfee and his colleagues snapped into crisp salutes as the jet slowly crawled past them.

In the cockpit window, the flight captain returned the salute and the journey was begun.

Back to battle. Back to work. Christmas notwithstanding.


Harry said...

You're right. We get to celebrate because of them, not because of the dopes in Congress who disparage them and want to pretend that the government allows us freedom.

Humble wife said...

Yep, good post we must never forget.

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